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Yates’ Believe It or Not
Crazy Facts About Dentistry
Earlier this year, a boy in India made international headlines for his teeth — 526 of them, to be exact. Dentists found a sac in the boy’s jaw containing hundreds of tiny teeth. The teeth formation was the result of a condition called odontoma, a benign tumor. Despite the presence of enough teeth to fill more than 15 mouths, the boy had little pain or symptoms. “The only thing which was bothering him was that the tooth on that side had not erupted. It was empty, and [he had] occasional pain, and there was slight swelling that was increasing in size,” said Dr. Pratibha Ramani of the patient. “Our oral hygiene affecting and reflecting our overall health is not a matter of belief; it’s a medical fact. For that and many other reasons, inspiring more people to go to the dentist is one of the most important parts of our practice.” While this story is obviously remarkable, it’s far from the only strange reality surrounding dentistry. Not every wild fact comes in the form of a medical anomaly. Many involve baffling behavior that happens every day. Did you know, for instance, that many people opt to take their oral care into their own hands? Outlandish stories of teens trying to straighten their teeth with fishing line and paperclips are the most egregious examples, but they’re not the only ones. Some patients opt to undertake an aligner treatment remotely with the help of companies providing doctors you can only see through a screen. We live in a world where you can do a lot of things at home with the help of a YouTube tutorial and some elbow grease. Dentistry, however, isn’t one of them. Another mind-boggling dentistry fact is the rate at which people use their dental insurance. Roughly 1 in 4 Americans with dental insurance doesn’t use all of their benefits before the year ends. Even scarier, you may not know if you’re one of them. Luckily, you can call our office and find out whether you’re letting them go to waste. Or, how about this jaw-dropping set of statistics that I’m just going to quote directly from the ADA? “In a recent survey, 52.3% of adults reported
that they had visited the dentist every six months during the last few years, 15.4% reported once per year, and 11.0% reported once every two to three years. More than 1 in 5 (21.3%) reported that they had not visited the dentist in the last few years,” they say. Do these alarming statistics have the visceral impact of seeing hundreds of teeth come from a single mouth? Of course not, but they speak to the bizarre misunderstandings we have about dentistry. Our oral hygiene affecting and reflecting our overall health is not a matter of belief; it’s a medical fact. For that and many other reasons, inspiring more people to go to the dentist is one of the most important parts of our practice. We try to encourage regular visits by making them affordable by accepting most insurances, and, for those without insurance, we offer our Gardens Dental Care membership plan. We also have flexible appointment times to ensure you have a chance to come in and not miss work or school. Believe it or not, way too many Americans don’t go to the dentist enough. I hope we’re doing our part to help improve that.
–Dr. David Yates
Gardens Dental Care • 561-529-4655
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